Featuring Mark Randisi and the famous Johnny Trudell Big Band being joined on stage by a local group to recreate a famous Frank Sinatra scene, “Sound of Sinatra” will be presented by the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Rockford High School Fine Arts Auditorium. The scene features Sinatra singing the song “High Hopes” with a group of youngsters. In the February 18 show, that song will be sung by Randisi and the Rockford Community Children’s Choir. Many area residents are familiar with the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) that supports a variety of area events such as the annual Ice Festival and Art in the Park, as well as performance groups including the Rockford Community Band, Rockford Community Orchestra, and Rockford Community Choir. The Rockford Community Children’s Choir (RC3) is the latest ensemble to collaborate with the RAAC. RC3 was formed in September 2011, by Renee Vande Wege, a local resident with strong credentials as both a vocalist and music teacher. Vande Wege has earned a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from Hope College and a master’s degree in music education from Michigan State University. She is also certified in music learning theory. She has worked with elementary musicians and private voice students in Rockford, Cedar Springs and Grand Rapids. Vande Wege has also been a member of the Opera Grand Rapids chorus since 2001. Having been a member of the Rockford Community Choir for six years, Vande Wege now serves as that group’s director. She was motivated to form RC3 by her strong desire to provide area youngsters with the opportunity to develop their musicianship and sing with other children. She believes that, except through the efforts of a handful of dedicated churches in the area, those opportunities are too limited, especially with the current school music program reductions due to budget constraints. In 2012, RC3 will become more visible in the area as they perform in a variety of events including the “Sound of Sinatra” show for the Rockford Area Museum, the RAAC Spring Concert on April 15, and likely Rockford’s Community EXPO on March 17. The second session for RC3 begins on January 10, 2012. Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 […]
Rockford Community Orchestra
by TOM SCOTT photos by TOM SCOTT The Rockford Area Arts Commion (RAAC) kicked off its 2011 summer seasonwith the Rockford Performing Arts Spring Concert featuring the Rockford Community Choir, The Rockford Community Orchestra & the Rockford Community Concert Band. The event was held at Rockford High Schools Fine Arts Auditorium Sunday, April 17. The Choir was led by conductor Renee Vande Wege with Suzanne DeVries~Zimmerman as accompnist.The Orchestra was lead by conductor KevinLewis and with Tiffany Engle leading the concert band as conductor. Rockford Community Music Ensembles are made possible by the generous support of the Rockford Area Arts Commission, The Rockford Public Schools and the patrons who support the Arts. Those interested in more information and possibly becoming a memberof the RAAC may go to the organization’s new website, www.artsrockford.org.